The behaviour of open spandrel brickwork masonry arch bridges
The behaviour of open spandrel brickwork masonry arch bridges (OSBMAB) was studied through model tests and finite element simulations. One three-metre and two five-metre span, full scale OSBMAB were constructed and tested to destruction. Two `partial' models including a combination of spandrel arches and piers, and a five-metre span single arch were also tested with intention of studying the functions of the components of the OSBMAB. To simulate the behaviour of the brickwork masonry arches, three finite element modelling techniques were developed: - (a) smeared modelling method (SMM), in which the failure of brickwork masonry caused by tensile cracking, compressive crushing or sliding is simulated as "loss of stiffness" in the corresponding directions within the domain of the geometry of the arch structure; and (b) discrete modelling method (DMM), in which the failure of brickwork masonry caused by tensile cracking or sliding is simulated as the change in the geometry of the arch structure, i. e., the geometrical discontinuity at prescribed locations; and (c) the mixed modelling method (MMM), in which the main arch, spandrel arches/piers are modelled using the SMM, and the interfaces between the fill and arch are modelled using the DMM. Parametric studies were carried out to investigate the effects of changes in material properties and finite element model related parameters on the behaviour of the OSBMAB, and to justify the values of those parameters adopted in the finite element models using the FE Package ANSYS 5.3. The comparisons were made between the finite element results and those obtained from the model tests. It has been demonstrated in terms of the ultimate loads, the modes of failure and the responses of loads vs. displacements that FE modeling can give good correlation.